Monthly Archives: September 2014

#CBR6 Review #25 – Lexicon

Lexicon

Target: Max Barry’s Lexicon

Profile: Speculative Fiction, Thriller

After Action Report:

As I have written before, I find book recommendations to be more annoying than useful (which raises some interesting questions about why I write book reviews).  There are so many variables involved in what makes any given book appealing to a given person that, without a history of literary compatibility, it is almost impossible guarantee that any two people will like the same book.  Still, every so often I’ll follow up on a recommendation or a particularly good review from a source that I like and it won’t disappoint me.  Lexicon not only did not disappoint, it wildly exceeded my expectations.

Lexicon takes place in a world where “Poets” have been the real power hidden in the shadow of history.  These individuals, possessed of extraordinary willpower and a set of linguistic tools, are able to command people by speaking a few key words that bypass our conscious minds and force us to obey.  The idea on its own is fascinating, drawing on shades of Neal Stephenson’s secret histories and J.K. Rowling’s ‘school for special people’ concept.

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#CBR6 Review #24 – New Watch

New WatchTarget: Sergei Lukyanenko’s New Watch.  Translated by Andrew Bromfield (The Watches pentalogy #5)

Profile: Modern Fantasy, Suspense, Horror

After Action Report:

Sergei Lukyanenko ostensibly drew his Watches series to a conclusion with Last Watch, but almost six years later he released a fifth book.  New Watch is a very different kind of novel than its predecessors.  It draws inspiration from other contemporary and urban fantasies, most notably the Harry Potter series.  There is a greater emphasis on the mechanics of the world’s magic system, answering some questions from previous novels, but shifting the tone of the series away from the cerebral contemplation of the battle between good and evil, towards a more action-oriented adventure.  Some of Lukyanenko’s trademark musings remain, but New Watch is clearly written for a slightly different, more global audience than the rest of the pentalogy.

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